A new cell tower at Rotary Stadium shouldn’t be ugly, council declared last week.
Rogers wants to replace an existing light pole on the east side of Rotary’s track with a taller structure that would include lights, but also an array of telecommunications equipment.
Many such towers are already scattered around Abbotsford’s urban area, but the city doesn’t currently have a policy requiring such towers to be pleasing to the eye.
That led Coun. Bruce Banman to seek to amend the city’s recommended requirements for Rogers’ new pole to be “more esthetically pleasing.”
He pointed to towers in other communities that are made to look like trees.
“Is there any way of making this blend in a little nicer?” he asked. “Is there a way of making this a little bit more subtle?”
Coun. Patricia Ross said that while a tree design might not work, other options exist to make the towers look better.
Banman’s amendment narrowly passed, with Ross and Couns. Les Barkman, Brenda Falk and Kelly Chahal voting in favour, and the rest of council opposed. The divide was, in part, over the amendment process and whether council should weigh in before or after a public comment period at the next meeting.
Coun. Sandy Blue suggested the city should create a policy to guide the esthetics of future proposed towers.
Mayor Henry Braun, meanwhile, said that only so much can be done to disguise a communications tower at the site.
“It doesn’t really matter what we’re going to do here, it’s going to be obtrusive.”
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